Real Madrid: Zidane reacts to reaching Champions League semi-finals
Zinedine Zidane praised his Real Madrid players' character after Los Blancos knocked Liverpool out of the Champions League quarter-finals on Wednesday.
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane praised his players’ character after Los Blancos sealed their place in the Champions League semi-finals at Liverpool’s expense on Wednesday.
Zidane also lauded the "phenomenal" form of goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois, who produced several saves at Anfield as a 0-0 draw saw Madrid earn a 3-1 aggregate victory.
Zidane's post-match press conference at Anfield:
Analysis of the goalless draw against Liverpool:
“We dug in and I think we deserve to go through. We showed real togetherness and I’m delighted for the boys. It was a really important game.”
LaLiga-Champions League double talk:
“We’re happy to be through. Now we have to rest and recuperate; we haven’t won anything yet. We just want to enjoy this moment.”
Out-of-position Fede Valverde preferred at right-back to specialist Álvaro Odriozola:
“That’s what we opted to go with and I think he played well. It’s not a position where he plays a lot, but I think he did very well. The guys up front also put a really good shift in: Marco [Asensio], Karim [Benzema], Vini[cius Junior]…”
Thibaut Courtois' display:
“He’s our goalkeeper and what he’s doing is phenomenal. I’m pleased for him because it’s very important to have a keeper who's so assured between the posts. He's always given us that. Courtois is doing a great job.”
Message to critics:
“I’m not going to say anything. We’re alive in both competitions, but we haven’t won anything yet. We’ve had tough moments during the season, of course. But we’re still alive. We just have to carry on in this vein.”
Great week for Real Madrid, having defeated Liverpool over two legs and won the Clásico:
“We’ve finished this game in much better physical shape than against Barcelona. This week we’ve had to put a tremendous shift in and we come away from these three games feeling very happy.”
What do you most admire about your players?
“The character they have. They are a team who always want more. The more the going gets tough, the more they stick together. We’ve got bags of quality in this side, of course; but the character these players show is the most important thing.”
Semi-final against Chelsea:
“We’ve got a number of LaLiga games to play before we face Chelsea, but it’s going to be a very tough tie.”
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